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Extension Education

Jessica Flores
Senior Agent Associate, Agriculture
University of Maryland Extension
Snow Hill


Farming: Pencil to Plow is a beginning farmer program designed for aspiring small farmers and those producers interested in diversifying their farm operation.  The course is held over eight (8) weeks, meeting one night each week for 3 hours each night of class.  Information is presented by experts in the agriculture field who discuss key business planning topics.  Speakers include University of Maryland Extension educators, local agencies and businesses that work with agriculture producers. Topics covered in this course include awareness of regulations, developing a business plan, cash flow statements, understanding customer base, marketing, and the importance of budgeting.  Farming interests from participants varied greatly: beekeeping, alpacas, hay, livestock, CSA, vegetables, hops, and mushroom production. Upon completing this program, participants have developed a prepared business plan to be presented to potential lending agencies along with a certificate of completion issued by NxLevel, a nationally recognized entrepreneurship training provider. To date, there have been 27 participants.  Originally developed as a Maryland Lower Eastern Shore program, Farming: Pencil to Plow has reached beginning farmers from eight (8) Maryland counties.  Of the participants that have graduated from the program, 87.5% strongly plan to use the knowledge and skills gained in this program to help develop their farming endeavor. $4900 total grants have been secured from the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center with a $1000 grant secured from the Beginning Farmer Success program.  In addition, $1750 of solicited funds have been received to support the program.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: J.L. Flores, J. Giordano
  1. Flores, J. Faculty Extension Assistant, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 21863
  2. Giordano, J. NxLevel Trainer, Consulting, Training, and Development Services, Maryland, 21801